SUNConferences, 29th Annual Conference of SAIIE

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APPLICATION OF MANUFACTURING STRATEGY PRINCIPLES IN ADAPTING CRAFT BREWERS FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN BEER INDUSTRY
Gaolebalwe Ramorula, Bruno Emwanu

Last modified: 2018-10-09

Abstract


The beer industry is known for having few big producers who dominate and control the market such that it is considered saturated and mature with high barriers to entry. Nevertheless, in-roads into the beer market by much smaller players, namely craft brewers are observed, that are apparently growing and managing to retain market share. Being SMMEs, the ability of craft brewers to achieve this position points to their agility and resilience, however it is not clear how this is achieved through the manufacturing function expected to meet consumer requirements. This raises the question whether craft brewers use manufacturing strategies at all and if these align with consumer needs and company long term plans.
This study investigates the craft beer industry in South Africa by interviewing five craft beer producers and surveying over four-hundred consumers to understand expectations of consumers and practices of craft brewers regarding manufacturing strategy.
Results indicate that application of manufacturing strategy principles is limited and does not seem purposive to improve the manufacturing process and sustain performance but seems to be survival moves. This suggests long-term risk to stability of craft breweries in South Africa and the need to adapt manufacturing strategy principles to improve this.


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